Council Members

Co-Chairs

Fr Gerard Mitchell SJ

Fr Gerard Mitchell SJ

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Fr Gerard is the Parish Priest at St Anselm’s Church, Southall, as well as the Dean of Ealing in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster. He was ordained in 1983 after an earlier career as a teacher. He is Chair of Governors at St Anselm’s Catholic School and on the Governing Council of St John’s Beaumont School. Fr Gerard is on the Board of Reference for Heathrow Chaplaincy and active in the Southall Council of Churches. He is a Leader for West London Citizens and is an activist on local homelessness.

Dr. Deesha Chadha OBE

Hindu Forum of Britain – Faith: Hindu

Dr. Deesha Chadha is currently a lecturer at Imperial College, having gained her PhD in 2005 from the University of Surrey. She is an interfaith committee member with the Hindu Forum of Britain and is also on the national executive committee for faiths and beliefs in further education.

Vice-Chairs

Jasvir Singh OBE

City Sikhs Network – Faith: Sikh

Jasvir is a Director of the City Sikhs Network, a professional networking organisation for Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike. He is involved in community cohesion and integration projects throughout Britain and actively promotes political engagement within the British South Asian community. He is also a barrister specialising in Family Law and Landlord & Tenant Law.

Leonie Lewis MBE

London Jewish Forum – Faith: Jewish

Leonie Lewis has a Masters in Sociology of Education & is an MBA UJIA Ashdown Fellow. She is particularly interested in faith, young people and community development issues and holds several voluntary positions including Trustee of the Faith Based Regeneration Network (FBRN), Co chair of the Faith Forum in London, Advisor to the Children’s Aid Committee, & Trustee of AJ6 & JLGB.

Dr Natubhai Shah, MBE

Dr. Natubhai Shah MBE

Jain Network – Faith: Jain

Dr. Natubhai Shah, retired doctor with a PhD in Jain Religion, is the author of Jainism: World of Conquerors (2 Volumes). He represents Jainism at the highest level and is Founder Chair/CEO of theJain Network and Founder President Jain Samaj Europe. He was mainly responsible for the creation of the Jain Centre in Leicester and is now involved in establishing a Jain Centre in North London. He is Trustee of IFN, FbRN, Barnet Multifaith Forum and member of Barnet SACRE and Chair of Council of Dharmic Faiths. He was selected ‘Man of the Year’ by ABI, awarded ‘Jain Ratna’ by Prime Minister of India in 2001 and ‘MBE’ in 2012 by the Queen for his services to the Jain Community and Interfaith Relations.

Council Members

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei, OBE

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE

Al-Khoei Foundation – Faith: Muslim

Sayed Yousif is the Director of Public Affairs at theAl-Khoei Foundation where he is engaged in Interfaith, community cohesion, capacity building and academic projects locally, nationally and at the UN. Sayed Yousif is a founding member of the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) which was set up in 2006. He was a founding member ofFAIR (Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism), is a founding member of the National Council for the Welfare of Muslim Prisoners, a member of the Prison Service Chaplaincy Council and is the Shia Muslim advisor to HM Prisons. In 2008, Sayed Yousif was awarded an OBE for services to community relations.

Dr. Riaz Sanatian

National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom – Faith: Bahá’í

Dr. Riaz Sanatian is an active member of the Bahá’í Community and interested in initiatives that contribute to the betterment of our society. He comes from an engineering background with a PhD in computational Fluid Dynamics from Cranfield Institute of Technology. After working as a university research associate, he joined a start-up company, Computational Dynamics Ltd, to help develop industrial and commercial applications of computational fluid dynamics technology. He worked as the Chief Engineer and Director until his retirement in 2014. Over the years Dr. Sanatian has been involved with a number of multi faith forums, mainly as a local Bahá’í representative. He has diverse interests and over the years has been involved with various art projects, working and exhibiting in both the United Kingdom and Spain. His activities within the Bahá’í community include serving as a member of various Local Spiritual Assemblies, the local governing bodies of the Baha’i community, in different localities where he was living.

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson, Brent Councillor & Trustee of Willesden New Testament Church of GodFaith: Christian

Robert was born in Kingston Jamaica and came to this country as part of the Windrush generation in 1961. He has been an active Church member throughout his life after his conversion to Christianity after attending a Billy Graham crusade in 1967. Robert has attended a number of churches and arrived at Willesden New Testament Church of God (WNTCG) in December 2004 quickly settling into the role of a servant leader working in several departments, including being a Deacon on the Church and Pastors Council. Robert is integral in developing policies and strategies for WNTCG and have helped to bring his property management specialism to support the Church’s endeavours.

Robert is a qualified member for the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators specialising in Local Government. He is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, specialising in Regeneration and Housing Management. He is also a member of the Institute of Management. Having worked for central and local government for over 39 years mainly in management/Director role. Throughout his life Robert has given of his time to both Church and Community. Robert has sat on a number of boards as a non-executive Director for a number of voluntary organisations as well as businesses. Robert list of Directorships include The Glasshouse Trust, The South Kilburn Trust, Catalyst Housing Association, Arhag Housing Association, Willesden Pentecostal Assembly and Advice for Renters – which supports renters in the Private sector. He contributes to local authorities strategies and governance lending his vast experience in public sector housing and planning.

Anne Charvet

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Anne Charvet’s mother’s father was an Egyptian Muslim, her mother was an Italian Catholic, but was brought up as a British Anglican, hence her interest in interfaith relations. From 2008 she has been a Quaker in North West London, where she is an assistant clerk. She was registering officer for Quaker weddings in the area for five years, she was an editor in book publishing for most of her working life and is now retired. She is a member of the Green Party and takes an active interest in environmental issues.

Jon Dal Din

Jon Dal Din

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Jon Dal Din has been Director for London Church Leaders since July 2008, he is a married permanent Deacon and before joining Westminster Interfaith he was a lecturer in Further Education.

Malcolm Deboo

Malcolm Deboo

Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe – Faith: Zoroastrian

Malcolm M. Deboo is President of Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE), established in 1861 to look after the interests of Zoroastrians in the UK. ZTFE is the oldest Asian religious voluntary organisation in the UK. The first three Asian MPs elected in the UK were all ZTFE members. At the ZTFE, Malcolm’s primary responsibilities are to coordinate interfaith activities and disseminate information on Zoroastrianism, especially to inter faith and educational establishments, local and national government agencies.

Esther Offenberg

Board member of the World Union of Jewish Students – Faith: Jewish

Esther studied at the University of Birmingham where she developed her keen activism for youth issues and representation. This involvement spurred Esther on to take her voice further and become the President of the Union of Jewish Students, 2019-2020.

Esther is now a Board member of the World Union of Jewish Students as well as of the JW3 Young Advisory Board. She is one of the founding members of the Faiths United Youth Network, where she runs the Leadership & Democracy programs and Trustee for London Jewish Forum, focusing on interfaith and youth engagement.

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Don de Silva

Buddhist Chaplain and Mentor – Faith: Buddhist

Don de Silva is a Buddhist Chaplain and a University mentor. He worked as a Senior Official with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and several international environmental institutes. A journalist, environmentalist and media strategist, he has managed and implemented programmes on environment and advocacy in over 130 countries. In the UK, he has worked to facilitate business enterprise skills among disadvantaged communities and has also in the creation of a sustainable communities network, comprising faith-based initiatives. Also a mindfulness trainer and life coach, he now focuses on Environment, Buddhism, Climate Change and Justice issues.

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Rajnish Kashyap

Hindu Council UK – Faith: Hindu

Working in the Credit Management Profession for the last 35 years, in depth knowledge of Export and Freight. Director/Trustee Hindu Council UK. Secretary Council of Dharmic Faiths UK. General Secretary Arya Samaj Middlesex. Faiths forum for London. Speaker on Hinduism, Promoting Social Justice & welfare for Hindus in the UK, Providing a voice that represents voluntary and community-led organisations.

Dilowar Hussain Khan

Dilowar Hussain Khan

London Muslim Centres Group – Faith: Muslim

Dilowar Khan is the Executive Director of the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, which is one of the largest Mosque and Islamic Centres in UK. He has been working in the community/voluntary sector for the last 24 years and is actively involved in inter-faith and broad based community organising work for the last 15 years in London and beyond.

Ven Bogoda Seelawimala

Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala

London Buddhist Vihara – Faith: Buddhist

Venerable B. Seelawimala is the Head of the London Buddhist Vihara. He is also Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain. He did his monastic training in Sri Lanka and came to the UK in 1992 as a resident monk at the London Buddhist Vihara. This is the oldest Buddhist monastery in the UK. He is also an executive member of the InterFaith Network in the UK and a Buddhist Chaplain to various hospitals in London.

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Talat Shaikh

Muslim Community & Education – Faith: Muslim

Talat Shaikh is the chairperson of Muslim Community & Education Centre (Palmers Green Mosque) and one of its founder trustee. With a background of IT and Management he has been working in the Charity sector since 1992 and is a Trustee (inc. past chair) of Enfield Racial Equality Council and also is part of the Executive board of Enfield Over 50 Forum.

Co-Opted Members

the-ven-luke-miller-archdeacon-of-hampstead-320x320The Ven. Luke Miller

Co-OptedFaith: Christian

The Ven. Luke Miller has been Archdeacon of London since January 2016, and was previously Archdeacon of Hampstead. Between school and university he came to London for a year as Pastoral Assistant at St James Sussex Gardens in Paddington before training for the priesthood at St Stephen’s House Oxford where he completed a degree in Theology.He was ordained in 1991 and served as curate of St Matthew’s Oxhey in the Diocese of St Albans. In 1994 he was appointed curate of St Mary’s Tottenham, and became vicar of that parish in 1995. The parish is one of two straddled by the Tottenham Hale development and he was involved at the very beginning of the project to establish church work on the site there, as well as planting a church nearby in Tottenham. From 2005-2011 he served for two periods on Diocesan Synod and was Area Dean of East Haringey. Fr Luke became Archdeacon of London in January 2016. He is currently a member of the General Synod and Chair of the London Diocesan Board for Schools. He chairs the Faith Sector Panel of the London Resilience Forum and is responsible for helping Faith Communities across London be ready to respond in major incidents.